Finland’s National League, the top division of women’s football, is offering free sports hijabs to any women players in the country who want one.
When children start playing football in Finland, their teams provide them with jerseys, shorts and socks, but sports hijabs are often not available.
Now the National League has joined forces with Nike to donate Nike Pro hijabs to hijabi players.
Officials say the move, which comes on the 50th anniversary of organized women’s soccer in Finland is aimed at promoting equality in sports.
“Finland is known for being a country of equal opportunities,” a Football Association spokesperson said. “However we know that there is still a lot to be done as Finland is becoming an ever-more diverse society.”
“By donating hijabs we want to show our dedication to making football accessible to everyone. We hope that us leading by example encourages other sports and football associations to join us in promoting equality and equity in sports,” the spokesperson added.
Last year, the Football Association of Finland renamed its top women’s division, ditching the word “women” from “the Women’s League” in a move towards equality. In 2019, it also announced equal pay for both women and men players on its national teams.